Mai-Kai cocktail review: Mai-Kai Swizzle showcases old-school technique

Updated July 3, 2014
See below: Our Mai-Kai Swizzle review | Tribute recipe | Related: Mai-Kai cocktail guide

Not to be confused with the deadly 151 Swizzle, the Mai-Kai Swizzle is a sweet and fruity mild drink that nevertheless rises above the mundane with a unique combination of juices and syrups plus a healthy dose of gold Jamaican rum.

Authentic swizzle sticks come from trees native to the Caribbean
Authentic swizzle sticks come from trees native to the Caribbean. (Photo by Hurricane Hayward, March 2012)

It also sheds some light on a unique technique called swizzling. Many drinks with swizzle in their name are simply shaken or blended (as The Mai-Kai likely does), but a traditional swizzle follows a tried-and-true method that originated in the Caribbean.

Most mixologists today will use a quality bar spoon to swizzle a drink. Simply put: Fill a glass or shaker with your cocktail ingredients and crushed ice, insert the spoon and quickly spin the handle back and forth between the palms of both hands. This will quickly mix/blend the drink, and if you’re doing it correctly the glass or shaker will quickly become cold and frosty, and your cocktail will be ready to drink.

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